For Mother's Day, a GIF Guide To The Many Stages Of The Mother-Daughter Relationship

Editor’s note: Because one day just isn’t enough, Bustle will be posting essays every day this week about our mothers. Hey, it’s the least we can do. Happy Mother’s Week!

For many of us, our mother is the most important woman in our life. I mean, come on: she was not only kind enough to bring us into the world, but in the early days, she wiped crap from our bums; kissed away any bruise; and generally ensured we survived. As we grew up, our mothers became a rock during those times when life (or we) were being complete jerks.

Our mothers aren’t just our protectors and shoulders to cry on — they have a major hand in the women we grow up to be. With each year that passes our relationship (and appreciation) of our mothers changes, and those changes deserve to be documented in GIFs.

1 TO 2 YEARS OLD

“I’m not really sure who this amazing woman is, but I think I love her! This diaper rash is clearing up quicker than I thought it would! Food comes out of her pillows! And would you look at that face? This is the best!”

3 TO 4 YEARS OLD

“Mom and I go everywhere together! And each trip is even more exciting than the last! Womp womp!"

5 TO 6 YEARS OLD

"Wait, why are you abandoning me and leaving me here? I don’t even know what school is! I promise to be good! Just. Don't. Leave. Me."

7 TO 9 YEARS OLD

“There’s nothing in the world Mom won’t do for me. She really is the best. I hope I’m just like her when I grow up.”

10 TO 11 YEARS OLD

“Mom, I love you, but you need to understand that I am practically an adult now. Please respect my privacy as I talk to a boy on the phone for the first time.”

12 TO 13 YEARS OLD

“Mom, I need you, but I'm also starting to really hate you. My emotions are a mess from these hormones and I’m pretty sure I'm going to die from this chronic disease you keep calling cramps. This. Is. The. Worst. Rub my lower back, please? UGH, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!”

14 YEARS OLD

“Mom, bring me to the mall, but drop me off a block away because you are LITERALLY the most embarrassing person I've ever seen. I have some very important business to attend to, like standing outside Abercrombie & Fitch until my crush notices me. I’m an adult now, in case you haven’t noticed.”

15 YEARS OLD

“You just don’t understand me! You have no idea who I am! If anyone sees us together, I’m going to tell them I’m adopted. Why can’t you be a 'cool' like other moms?! I hate you!”

16 YEARS OLD

"Tiffany and Becca have cars and their curfew is midnight on Fridays on Saturdays. But, oh no, not me! I have a license, no car, and I have to be home by 11pm. Who wants to hang out with the girl who has to be home at 11pm? I really understand hardship."

17 YEARS OLD

"What? You really think you're some sort of hero because now you're letting me stay out until 11:30pm? You do realize that Tiffany and Becca get to stay out until 1am now, right? You're definitely the reason I don't have a boyfriend."

18 YEARS OLD

"OK, I know I said that I was an adult before, but now this shit is for real. If you don't want to treat me like the 18-year-old ADULT I am, then maybe someone at college will. I only regret that I didn't apply to a school even further away."

19 YEARS OLD

"WHY DID I GO TO A SCHOOL SO FAR AWAY FROM YOU? How am I supposed to decide on a life direction when I'm not even sure about who I am? And did I tell you about Ray? He broke up with me for Tiffany. Some friend she is. No one loves me but you! Can we Skype?"

20 TO 24 YEARS OLD

"Well, I'm moving in with Ray whether you like it or not. I know he hasn't been the best boyfriend in the world, but we're in love, and we've graduated from college, so...this adulthood shit is for real now. But, um, do you think you could spot me some cash so we can get a new mattress? I love you!"

24 TO 28 YEARS OLD

“Mom, lunch and a movie later? You were right about Ray, but I met someone else! When it gets serious I'll be sure to get your stamp of approval, because your judgement is spot-on. Can we get dinner tonight? My treat!"

29+ YEARS OLD

"I know it took awhile to get here, mom. But honestly, I can't imagine anyone else I'd rather watch movies and eat some popcorn with. I am an adult now, though, for realsies. And you know how I know it? I appreciate and thank you for putting up with my asshole years, and recognize you as a woman who is so much more than just my mother. I love you.

No, but really, please stop dropping subtle hints about my biological clock."

I love you Mom! Happy Mother's Day.

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